Divine intervention: Opposition mounts against genetically modified sugar

March 7, 2008

“Sugar should be pure, not corrupted through genetic tinkering.”

Investors belonging to Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) are urging more than 60 leading food, beverage, restaurant and other companies to protect their brand, reputation and consumer confidence by opposing the spring 2008 planting of genetically modified sugar beets. Among the companies being targeted by the campaigners are McDonald’s, Campbell Soup, Kellogg, Kraft Foods, Sara Lee, PepsiCo and Hershey’s.

The genetically modified sugar beet crop would be used to make the sugar consumed in thousands of the most widely consumed food products in the U.S. (Sugar is extracted from the beet’s root.)

Sugar beets have been modified to insert a gene that makes the plant resistant to the glyphosate, a toxic herbicide, sold under the trade name Roundup. At the request of Roundup pesticide maker Monsanto, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently increased the allowable amount of glyphosate residues on sugar beet roots by 5,000 percent!

If planted, genetically modified sugar will enter the food supply in early 2009. A vast majority of Americans say they would reject genetically genetically modified crops if given a choice. Since they aren’t labelled, consumers have no choice.

ICCR is a coalition of nearly 300 faith-based investors with over $100 billion in invested capital. Expressing concerns about genetically modified crops and food due to weak governmental review and oversight, and lack of independent, long-term and peer-reviewed safety studies, they’ve launched a web-based campaign, http://www.dontplantgmobeets.org/ encouraging consumers to help.

See also: http://www.iccr.org/

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